Clan Snow Raven
|Clan Snow Raven|
|Time period:||2807 – 3083|
|Capital world:||was Lum|
|Military:||Clan Snow Raven Touman|
|Secret Service:||Clan Snow Raven Watch|
Clan Snow Raven was founded by Stephen McKenna (a distant relative of the famous James McKenna who hailed from the Terran Hegemony). The Snow Ravens are a complicated Clan that have taken a unique path, due to several catastrophes in their early history. Famed for their heavy use of naval assets, as well as their conniving and efficient nature, the Snow Raven Clan, despite being mistrusted and misunderstood by other Clans, eventually rose to power in the years after the Clan Invasion.
- 1 History
- 2 Culture
- 3 Military
- 4 Rulers
- 5 Era Specific Information
- 6 Manufacturing Center
- 7 Related external links to non-source sites
- 8 References
- 9 Bibliography
Snow Raven Totem
Nicholas Kerensky decreed that the remaining 800 warriors loyal to him be divided into twenty 'clans.' Each clan, consisting of forty warriors would emulate a beast endemic to the Kerensky Cluster. In his wisdom, the warriors under Stephen McKenna were designated to embody the attributes of the snow raven, a snow-white bird common to the harsh tundra flats of Strana Mechty. Snow ravens are known to never waste anything, picking the bones of a carcass clean and then eating the bones as well. Snow ravens were also documented to co-operate with other animals, such as the introduced Terran wolf or the ghost bear, often sharing a kill. Like many other Clans, the Snow Ravens have followed their totem to a fault, often to the extent of ridicule. Indeed, Snow Ravens of all castes are often known to be conniving, cold, and more humorously, extremely garrulous to the point of being more verbose than even those of the Ice Hellion Clan; moreover, Snow Ravens are unable to keep secrets of great purport. Members are colloquially referred to as 'the Unkindness,' the word used for a gathering of greater corvids.
The Birth of Clan Snow Raven
For the past several centuries, it has been more famine than feast for the Snow Ravens. Very early in their history the Snow Ravens were struck down by fate. During Operation Klondike, the struggle to reclaim the Pentagon Worlds, the Snow Ravens lost almost half their ground units to enemy forces, and, although in the end the Ravens were victorious, the Raven touman, particularly its 'Mech forces, were severely diminished. Khan McKenna sought ways to increase the strength of his touman, and found his answer in the many caches of Star League equipment stored in various places in the Pentagon Worlds. At the time, other Clans were scrambling madly for equipment out of caches as well, thus it was impractical for an already weak Clan to face other, stronger Clans in this matter. Khan Stephen McKenna, a naval commander during the Amaris Crisis and during the Exodus, suggested the Clan's warriors stage trials of possession for WarShips, which were less sought after--- other Clans sought after 'Mechs and the WarShips ran against the warrior ethos of the nascent Clans. Before the other Clans could react, the Snow Ravens fielded a considerable naval force as well as gaining a stranglehold on almost all naval shipyards in Clan space.
Aftermath of Operation Klondike
This did not prevent the Ravens from still requiring an adequate ground force and they soon found themselves in conflict over the possession of a cache with the Wolverine Clan on the planet Circe. The Wolverines and the Snow Ravens bore much enmity towards each other since Operation Klondike: the Wolverine saKhan, Franklin Hallis was attracted to Raven saKhan, Joyce Merrell, however Merrill did not requite Hallis' affections and the Wolverines had moved to destroy Raven interests ever since. This cache of 'Mechs once belonged to the unit with which the Wolverine Khan, Sarah McEvedy, had served; however the actual cache resided in Raven territory. Thus, the matter was brought before the Clan Council to be resolved. However, when the Ravens were awarded the rights to the cache, the Wolverine Clan, (who recently become very discontented with Clan society) declared their independence from the Clans. The Snow Ravens, already aware the Wolverines were massing on their borders, moved to attack. The Wolverines fought intensely and the Snow Ravens were beaten back to their capital, Dehra Dun, and finally repulsed from there as well. The Wolverines emptied the city of all civilians and detonated a low-level nuclear warhead, destroying the primary genetic repository. This resulted in a Trial of Annihilation declared against Clan Wolverine, by Clans Wolf and Widowmaker. Following the destruction of the majority of Wolverine Clan (now known as the Not-Named Clan), the Ravens were again heavily decimated, and Clan Mongoose began to quietly ask for a Raven absorption. The Ravens were not deterred by this; they moved their capital to the planet of Lum and tried to rebuild their shattered Clan once again.
The Golden Century
On Lum, the Ravens gained many of the attributes they are renowned for today. Superb political manipulators, the clan banded together their bloodlines to form 'families.' Conflicts between families, unlike that constant infighting that plagues the Fire Mandrill Clan, have only made the Snow Ravens stronger. In addition to this, the Ravens were also efficient users of raw materials, breeding a naval phenotype, unique among the Clans, to staff Raven WarShip fleets. The Raven Clan moved silently through Clan society, quietly rebuilding themselves.
In the 2850's, the Ravens came across an inhospitable world, aptly named Hellgate, that was rich with natural resources. When the Ravens moved to colonize this world, the Steel Vipers staged a trial of possession for the planet's agrodomes, and, although the Ravens fought hard, without food the Clan was forced to relinquish control to the Vipers within several years. The Vipers continued to prey upon the Ravens and they perpetuate a feud to this day.
Raven activities were fairly quiet for more than a century, until a Raven Khan revealed Clan Cloud Cobra ilKhan Tobias Khatib's complicity in the murder of the previous ilKhan. The Ravens found themselves in the forefront of Clan society again, when Khan Liam Howell revealed that it was he who had instructed Snow Raven scientists to introduce a genetically-recumbent great white shark into the oceans of Strana Mechty. Khan Howell despised the Clan Sea Fox for thwarting his attempts to gain territory on the world of Priori, and subsequently unleashed these 'diamond sharks' for the express purpose of wiping out the Sea Fox totem animal. The Raven saKhan, Niamh Sukhanov, furious at his superior's machinations, declared a trial of grievance, killing Khan Howell and then assuming the seat of Khanship. Nonetheless, the Sea Foxes were furious, and their anger only abated when the Snow Raven Khan evoked the rite of surkairede.
The Political Century and Operation Revival
In stark contrast to the peace that the so-called 'Golden Century' granted, the following era, the Political Century would be racked with turmoil. The requisite three generations that Kerensky had mandated for the Clans to finally return to the Inner Sphere had long since passed and many in Clan society called for change. Nascent ideological rifts began to grow, eventually coalescing into the Crusader philosophy, which wanted to return to the Inner Sphere and reinstate the Star League, and the Warden philosophy, whose adherents felt the Clans were still not ready to return. Interpreting both these ideologies as false, Clan Snow Raven chose to follow neither path, instead choosing a "best of both worlds" path, combining the Crusaders' drive and the Wardens' patience, quite arguably to great effect. Moreover, the Snow Ravens - as a politically 'neutral' Clan - could contract their services to either a Crusader or Warden Clan with minimal difficulty. Near the middle of the Political Century in 2979, Snow Raven Khan Ewan McCorkell would strike a bargain with Clan Blood Spirit, trading a Galaxy of second-line BattleMechs for three of the Blood Spirits' WarShips. He would execute this deal after pondering the future and realizing the Snow Ravens would destroy themselves attempting to unseat one of the dominant Clans. He opted for the long road, setting his Clan up to be a primary provider of transport and cargo escort services to the distant edge of the Inner Sphere, while also cultivating an alliance for his Clan with a highly reclusive Clan that shared a mutual respect. All of these decisions would prove to be very prudent choices when, fifty years later, the calls for invasion were answered.
For half a century the Ravens were quiet, until the Outbound Light brought about the call for invasion of the Inner Sphere. Clan Coyote, who had lost much territory in the last few decades, sought to bring glory and prestige to their Clan by attacking the Snow Ravens. While the Coyotes wielded considerable forces, the Ravens fought with equal force and both sides were bloodied badly enough that neither Clan was strong enough to participate in the trials determining a slot in the invasion force. This worked out in the Ravens' favor anyway, for Khan Lynn McKenna was able to negotiate a contract with the Jade Falcons that loaned out two Stars of WarShips, in exchange for resources from the Inner Sphere, and most importantly, the world of Hellgate (which the Falcons had recently taken from the Vipers). This arrangement allowed the Ravens to regain their strength lost through the failed Coyote attack, as well as thumb their nose at the Vipers. However, this deal did not last long, for the Vipers and the Crusader Wolves initiated the Harvest Trials in 3058, wherein two entire Clusters were taken by the Jade Falcons. Relations with that Clan cooled, although they are slowly normalizing again (even after the 'McKenna Bloodhouse Incident' when the Jade Falcon Clan meddled with Snow Raven bloodhouse affairs).
The Great Refusal
One of the greatest feats of the Snow Ravens in recent years has been the completion of the largest WarShip ever constructed, the Leviathan. The Ghost Bears, the Snow Ravens' longtime ally, requested their assistance in building a WarShip so powerful that it could handle an entire naval star by itself. The Ravens managed to deliver, but the project failed to be completed in time for the Bears' move to the Inner Sphere. The Leviathan served as a valuable cargo vessel, ferrying millions of Clan civilians to their new home. When the Ghost Bears finally left, they gifted the world of Bearclaw to the Ravens in thanks, although the Hell's Horses Clan landed just as the Bears were leaving and the Ravens have failed to oust them fully, so far. The Snow Ravens have gained territory elsewhere as well. In the wake of the Smoke Jaguar Annihilation, the Ravens gained much of the planet of Circe, as well as a portion of Homer (although they were eventually forced off that world by superior numbers of Steel Vipers). The Snow Ravens also assisted in the withdrawal of Clan Nova Cat forces, which allowed the Ravens to obtain the Abjured Clan's territory with minimal conflict.
Post-3060, the Ravens began to see the limitations of their recent gains, and decided to send an expeditiary force to the Inner Sphere. While scouting the near-Periphery, the Snow Raven force stumbled upon an Outworlds Alliance JumpShip and staged a trial of possession for it, offering a Titan class DropShip as collateral. Surprisingly, the Snow Ravens were beaten by the Alliance pilots. Greatly impressed, they offered their hand in friendship and eventually formalized a make-shift alliance that has allowed Snow Raven vessels to use Outworlds recharge stations, in exchange for refurbishing an old Star League-era naval base at Quatre Belle. The Snow Ravens also helped the Alliance develop its own OmniFighter, the Corax (named in honor of the Ravens).
Treachery at Kanzaka
The Inner Sphere seemed like a very hospitable place for the Snow Ravens until the Draconis Combine blew up a Snow Raven vessel attempting to recharge at one of their stations (which the Ravens won the right to by trial). The lost vessel was none other than the White Cloud, which once won the 2736 Martial Olympiad. The Ravens took several pirate worlds, Rezak's Hole and Farstar, which they used for harassing Kuritan interests to the best of their ability.
The Assault on Lum
However, true revenge had to wait, for the Raven's homeworld of Lum was being assaulted. The Steel Viper Clan, ejected from the Inner Sphere by the Jade Falcons, sought to take revenge on their most hated foe, the Snow Ravens. Several frontline galaxies were deployed on Lum, and, for a time, it seemed the Vipers would be victorious. Eventually the Snow Ravens turned the tide of battle and drove the Vipers off-planet. The final battle involved naval elements and resulted in the destruction of the Viper vessel Pit Viper. Several Raven vessels were damaged, but none destroyed.
The Jihad and Beyond
With the Viper threat diminished, the Ravens could now concentrate on the Draconis Combine. The Jihad waged by the Word of Blake was savaging the Inner Sphere, and it was the perfect time to exact revenge upon the weakened Kuritan forces. The Ravens used the depleted Swift Wing Naval Assault Star to raid the worlds of Enif, Tabayama, and Galedon V, destroying a Kuritan Kyushu-class vessel in the latter engagement.
The depleted Swift Wing Naval Assault Star was destroyed on the 5th of January 3069; the Star was resupplying in the Ramora system when terrorists, either funded by the Word of Blake or Blakist operatives in disguise, used Draconis Combine vessels and tactics to destroy the Raven WarShips. The Snow Ravens responded to the destruction of the Star by going on the offensive against the Combine in May 3069, seizing the border worlds of Budingen, Goubellat, Schirmeck, Valentina and Weisau from the Combine. This was followed by the arrival of a naval Star in the Galedon system on the 1st of June and the orbital bombardment of a number of military installations on the surface of Galedon V. The Snow Ravens gave the Galedon civilian castes one week to leave the planet; on the 16th of June, the Snow Ravens followed their initial bombardment with a much longer bombardment of the planet's surface, targeting every city on the world in turn. The damage wrought on Galedon's population quickly outgrew that of the infamous Kentares Massacre and saw the planetary administration on Galedon collapse, along with the bulk of the planet's centralized transport and planetary controls. Even as the Snow Ravens captured 30,000 escaping Galedonians and declared them to be isorla, a plague on the planet, which had broken out during battles between AFFS and DCMS forces earlier in the year, reached epidemic proportions, spreading among the survivors of the bombardment.
As the Snow Raven forces traveled back to the Outworlds Alliance, space cases of the plague from Galedon broke out on three of the five WarShips, prompting the forced scuttling of several vessels after a battle in an unnamed Combine system as the Snow Ravens tried to contain the plague, which had presumably arrived on their ships via some of the civilians taken prisoner.
When reports linking terrorist cells apparently operating from the Alliance world of Dante with the Word of Blake were confirmed in September 3069, the Snow Ravens lay siege to Dante for a week, alongside units from the Alliance Military Corps. The approach taken on Dante was considered heavy-handed by a number of Alliance worlds and provoked a political crisis for Mitchell Avellar when secessionist sentiments rose sharply on a number of Alliance worlds in response.
In late February 3075, diplomats from the Federated Suns travelled to Outworlds Alliance space to negotiate with the Snow Ravens. As well as a peace settlement, the negotiators hoped to arrange for the release of captured personnel from the 3rd Crucis Lancers and for the Snow Ravens to contribute aid to the coalition assembled by Devlin Stone. While the negotiations did result in assurances from the Snow Ravens that they would not strike at the Federated Suns again unless provoked, the Clan refused to contribute to the allied coalition and claimed all of the captured AFFS personnel as isorla.
In early November 3075, Clan Ghost Bear sent a delegation led by Aletha Kabrinski to meet with the Snow Ravens in a bid to negotiate for the Snow Ravens to commit to supporting the coalition, the Ghost Bears having recently agreed to support the coalition themselves. By mid-December, these negotiations had been successful and the Ghost Bears were able to launch a second assault on the contested world of Ascella with the assistance of supporting forces from the Snow Ravens. The Snow Ravens dispatched two naval Stars to join the coalition on the 16th of February, with the Snow Raven ships escorting the returning Ghost Bears delegation.
The combined Ghost Bear and Snow Raven forces launched a number of major assaults in July and September 3076, with the first wave in July striking at the Protectorate worlds of Dyev, Kervil, Ko, Lambrecht, Moore and Sabik, followed by a second wave in September that expanded the combined Clan front against the Protectorate by striking at Lyons, Pike IV and Skandia.
Following the Jihad, Clan Snow Raven found itself facing new problems within the Outworlds Alliance. While the alliance between the Snow Ravens and the Alliance had brought some clear benefits - including, in Quatre Belle, the return of the shipyards to operational status - the Snow Raven touman found itself overcommited, unable to protect all of the worlds of the Alliance despite having taken on responsibility for them. This meant that the Alliance Military Corps had to garrison some worlds alone, prompting pointed questions about whether the alliance with the Snow Ravens was actually bringing the promised benefits.
Despite the problems faced by the Snow Ravens, the recommissioning of the Quatre Belle shipyards gave the Ravens control over one of only three manufacturing sites capable of producing new JumpShips, marked by the production of the CSR Mitchell Avellar, during a period in which the number of yards capable of producing JumpShips across the Inner Sphere had fallen sharply. The Quatre Belle shipyards gave the Snow Raven WarShip fleet somewhere to undergo maintenance and refurbishment after years of active deployment, but with limited resources available to support the fleet, there were calls from within the Clan to acknowledge that with little need for the full fleet, some of the older ships should be mothballed to reduce the draw on resources.
The practices and customs of the Snow Raven Clan were a study in contradiction. On the one hand the Clan was incredibly tight-knit and distrusting of any outsiders: rarely would a Snow Raven take someone from outside the Clan into their confidence for fear they may turn on them, and most bondsmen wore their bondcord for many years before being accepted. Even then these individuals had difficulty fully integrating into their new Clan, and of the very few warriors taken fewer still were allowed to rise above the rank of Star Colonel.
In comparison the Clan's internal politics were downright Byzantine, a complex web of power structures and relationships. The focus of this politicking was the Clan's Bloodname Houses, often known internally as "the families," and to interfere with a family's internal affairs was considered a grave sin. This was because each House Leader had absolute authority over how its Bloodnamed members would vote in the Clan Council, but determining who held this position meant only the most politically astute retained it for more than a few years. Thus while no Snow Raven ever did something without reason, that reason was not always the most apparent one.
The Snow Ravens were also unique in maintaining a separate category of naval Bloodnames. While all Clans hold control over a number of bloodlines categorized as generic, MechWarrior, Elemental or Pilot, the Snow Ravens created an additional category of Naval Command. Bred for their analytical and command abilities, with strength and stamina secondary concerns, such bloodlines dated back to the early days of the Clan as a means to produce superior naval officers. The rarity of inter-Clan naval engagements throughout most of their history meant other Clans saw such practices as a waste of resources.
For many years the Snow Raven touman contained the largest naval force of any Clan, with forty WarShips and a near-stranglehold on shipbuilding facilities. Its fleet was divided into five-ship naval Stars organized around either a central combatant, such as a battleship or carrier, or an armored transport, such as a Potemkin or Volga. Each naval group was accompanied by large numbers of assault DropShips, as many as a Cluster's worth of Aerospace Fighters, and a number of Elemental marine Trinaries. Such was the size of the fleet during this time that it allowed the Snow Ravens to maintain a "two-Clan system," whereby they could simultaneously fight major space engagements with two other Clans and be reasonably assured of victory. These naval forces not only served to protect the Clan but also as a source of revenue: in addition to ship facilities, elements of the fleet were contracted out to other Clans to fight at their side, though such practices declined as the disparity in fleet sizes began to lessen.
Such an emphasis on aerospace and naval assets greatly affected its ground forces, which in total numbers of BattleMechs was less compared to other Clans. Most Elementals, and even some 'Mech pilots, were trained in zero-G operations, making them as equally effective fighting within a ship, on its hull, or free-floating in space as they were on solid ground. These forces were also more heavily reliant on the fleet to perform aerial reconnaissance and close air support, making their absence in a fight potentially debilitating. A tradition of assigning a naval Star to each Galaxy posed its own problem, as the ranks of Star Admiral and Galaxy Commander were equivalent, resulting in arguments over authority and occasionally hampering operations. Only rarely would the Khans intervene and appoint a senior officer, typically the Galaxy Commander, and only in truly problematic instances, as the two supreme leaders were supposed to be impartial to internal politicking.
In other instances the chain of command was clearly spelled out in what was know as "the list." Recording all officers and their qualifications, "the list" established a clear line of precedence in the case of a superior officer's incapacity or death. Such a mechanism avoided a problem found in other Clans which over-relied on senior officers and let a Snow Raven warrior know their exact status within the Clan. Promotion was also handled differently compared to other Clans: to achieve the rank of Galaxy Commander required the warrior to earn the Order of the Raven, and only Galaxy Commanders or Star Admirals could be elected as Khan, saKhan or Loremaster. Likewise because each Galaxy was primarily responsible for one world, and each Galaxy Commander reported directly to the Khan and was their representative on that world, those elevated to this position were the de facto head of their respective planetary governments.
Snow Raven training also differed from that of many other Clans, influenced in part by their several near-extinctions during the course of their history. A heavy emphasis on teamwork, and putting the needs and honor of the Clan above even personal honor, began at basic training under the warders of the Ravenshead training ground and the McKenna Naval Training Facility. The Snow Ravens also utilized simulators as opposed to live-fire exercises to a greater degree than normal Clan training. Not only were their 'Mech, fighter and WarShip simulators among the most advanced, but their use avoided the wasteful expenditure of limited resources and allowed the bulk of equipment to be assigned to combat units. The result of this methodology was a relatively small but well-trained and well-equipped fighting force.
- Stephen McKenna, 2807 - ????
- Ewan McCorkell, ???? - 2982
- Liam Howell, ???? - ????
- Niamh Sukhanov, ???? - ????
- Lynn McKenna, ???? - 3080
- Alberto Crow, 308? - Current
- Joyce Merrell, 2807 - ????
- Niamh Sukhanov, ???? - ????
- Joseph Crow, ???? - ????
- Bryn Cooper, ???? - 3065,
- Broderick Sukhanov, 3065 - 307? (It is hard to figure out when he died, since in some places it is implied that he died in March 3071, but then he also shows up alive in December 3071.), 
- Alberto Crow, 307? - 308?
- Thorsten Magnus, 308? - Current (or Thorston Magnus, the spelling seems to vary.)
Era Specific Information
Snow Raven Demographics
Affiliation: Warden (nominal)
Population (Clan Space): 94,199,000 (3060)
Population growth rate: 2.2 percent (49/27)
Self-Sufficiency Index: 96 percent
Khan: Lynn Mckenna
saKhan: Bryn Cooper
Loremaster: Klaus Harper
Scientist-General: Charlotte (von Braun)
Merchant Factor: Louis
Master Technician: Mattias
Senior Laborer: Emili
A detailed list of some Snow Raven manufacturer and companie centers.
- The Star League, p. 12, "James McKenna"
- Historical: Operation Klondike, p. 115, 116 - "Stephen McKenna Profile"
- Field Manual: Warden Clans, p. 118 - "Clan Snow Raven"
- Field Manual: Warden Clans, p. 118, 119 - "Looking Into the Abyss"(2784 - 2785)
- Historical: Operation Klondike, p. 71 - Primary Forces Committed to Circe
- Field Manual: Warden Clans, p. 120 - Legacy of War, personal journals of Khan Stephen McKenna
- Field Manual: Warden Clans, p. 119, 120 - "Clan Snow Raven, Absolute Power (2825 - 2976)"
- Era Digest: Golden Century, p. 10 - Early Clan History: A Comparative Timeline, Cont.
- Jihad: Final Reckoning, p. 45, "The Jihad In Review"
- Jihad: Final Reckoning, p. 46, "The Jihad In Review"
- Jihad: Final Reckoning, p. 47, "The Jihad In Review"
- Jihad Hot Spots: Terra, p. 14-15, "Timeline of the Jihad"
- Jihad: Final Reckoning, p. 53, "The Jihad In Review"
- Jihad Hot Spots: Terra, p. 19, "Timeline of the Jihad"
- Jihad: Final Reckoning, p. 55, "The Jihad In Review"
- Jihad Hot Spots: Terra, p. 20, "Timeline of the Jihad"
- Jihad Hot Spots: Terra, p. 22, "Timeline of the Jihad"
- Jihad: Final Reckoning, p. 56, "The Jihad In Review"
- Jihad: Final Reckoning, p. 112, "Clan Snow Raven"
- Jihad: Final Reckoning, p. 113, "Clan Industry"
- Field Manual: Warden Clan, p. 122
- Field Manual: Warden Clans, p. 123
- Field Manual: Warden Clans, p. 124-125
- Historical: Operation Klondike, p. 71
- Field Manual: Warden Clans, p. 120
- Field Manual: Warden Clans, p. 120
- Field Manual: Warden Clans, p. 120
- The Wars of Reaving, p. 179
- The Wars of Reaving, p. 178, 179
- Field Manual: 3085, p. 128
- Historical: Operation Klondike, p. 71
- Field Manual: Warden Clans, p. 120
- Field Manual: Warden Clans, p. 121
- Field Manual: Warden Clans, p. 127
- Field Manual: Updates, p.65
- Masters and Minions: The Starcorps Dossiers, p.160
- Jihad Hot Spots: 3072, p.21-22, 51
- Masters and Minions: The Starcorps Dossiers, p.159-160
- The Wars of Reaving, p. 178, 179
- The Wars of Reaving, p. 178
- Field Manual: 3085, p. 128
- Strategic Operations, p. 17
- Era Digest: Golden Century
- Field Manual: Warden Clans
- Field Manual: Updates
- Field Manual: 3085
- Historical: Operation Klondike
- Jihad: Final Reckoning
- Jihad Hot Spots: 3072
- Jihad Hot Spots: Terra
- Masters and Minions: The StarCorps Dossiers
- Strategic Operations
- The Star League
- The Wars of Reaving
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